The dog days of summer from mid-August to mid-October are tough to fish because it’s hard to find a consistent pattern. Grass and other heavy shoreline cover can be good, but some older lakes don’t have any. Ledge fishing can be hit or miss because a lot of bass will roam all over the place trying to keep up with schools of shad. But a third pattern, and one of my favorites, is to ease down a bank fishing for wolfpack bass when they’re in the shallows hunting for bedding bream.
May is the big month for the bream spawn, but some bluegills spawn every month around the time of the full moon for as long as the water stays warm. The beds won’t be very big, and might not be as easy to spot, but they’re there.
To take advantage, ease down the bank in a pocket or cove and scan the water as far ahead of you as you can; you need to see the bass before they see you. Look for a few bass travelling together, maybe in water as shallow as a foot. A flat-sided propbait such as a Brian’s Prop Bee in baby bream or bull bream, works great for this. Cast the lure ahead of the fish’s line of travel approximately 5 to 8 feet.
Personally, I fish a prop bait fairly fast, because the bass are likely to be aggressive. Sight fishing in hot summer might seem strange, but it works. Just as a reminder: In August 2011, Randall Tharp came close to winning the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita with that pattern.
—- EverStart pro Ron Shuffield, Bismarck, Ark.
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